For years now, I've learned about English - the history of English. I took French in high school and was amazed to find how many of our English words are so similar to the French, when I knew that English was Germanic in origin. About 7 years ago I started to question my Hubby about English. You must know, he is VERY smart and speaks French. He would answer my questions. He showed me the Indo-European language family tree. I was fascinated. I studied it until I had it memorized. I got books on the history of English and learned why so much of our language seemed French.
I won't do a history lesson here, but I found the subject very interesting. So, we are going to learn Old English together. We are going to learn a bit about our language before the French invasion.
Yesterday, on the way to church we watched a lady pull out in front of us and cut us off. Hubby said that was reckless. Then he started to muse, reckless. He half joked if reckless means you have less reck, is there a reckful? What does reck mean? It can't mean irresponsible, because if it did reckless would mean less irresponsible or responsible. I suggested that perhaps it is a word left over from an antique word since we couldn't think of any other modern words with "reck".
After church, I looked pulled out my new Old English text book. It has a dictionary in the back. I found the word "reccan" which means "to care for, to be concerned with". Ah Ha! Reckless is a remnant word of Old English it means to have less concern or care. Reckon is also a modern surviving word of the same root. As far as I can tell, reckless and reckon are the only survivors of the Old English "reccan".
I love knowing where our words come from. An odd hobby, I know, but for me - a fun one!